April 2012 was a busy month for the FED team, with accomplishments made in the areas of training, continuing Fed’s operational set-up in the counties and Monrovia, and implementation of activities in various project components.
A variety of trainings occurred during the month. Three Extension Agents in the peri-urban areas were trained in crop planning, input procurement, and testing of soil water. A treadle irrigation demonstration was conducted in Nimba County and was attended by 150 farmers. FED, along with the National Cassava Sector, also led a 2 day Business Management Skills training in Monrovia for SMEs working in the cassava value chain.
Vegetable production at the Kakata field demonstration site continued during the month of April. Lettuce was harvested from the demonstration site was given free of charge to the Booker Washington Institute (BWI), The Children Future Orphanage Home and the C.H. Rennie Hospital all in Kakata, Margibi County.
The long-term Enterprise Development Specialist, Mark Nolan, joined the Monrovia FED Team on March 20, 2012. He died unexpectedly of natural causes on April 5, 2012. Upon his arrival, Mark immediately began working with a variety of famers groups, local cassava producers, and many others. He made many valuable contributions in a short period of time and the whole FED team is mourning this tragic loss.
The Market Development Fund (MDF) Acting Manager, Jessica Stretz, arrived in Monrovia for a 4 month STTA that will focus on overseeing the day-to day operations and management of the MDF. The Acting MDF Manager will meet with potential partners and collaborate with technical staff across components to ensure disbursement and management of the funds.
The FED IT Department successfully set up two field offices in Grand Bassa and Lofa counties respectively. They setup the network printer, cabled and wireless router, setup the desktop computers, and provided other support as required.
USAID Liberia’s Food and Enterprise Development (FED) Program is being implemented to achieve the following component objectives:
- Component-1: Increase agricultural productivity and profitability, and improve human nutrition;
- Component-2: Stimulate private enterprise growth and investment; and
- Component-3: Build local technical and managerial human resources to sustain and expand the accomplishments achieved under objectives one and two.